To add context, Di Resta out-qualified Michael Schumacher – who set the fastest time in qualifying in Monaco a fortnight ago in his Mercedes – and McLaren’s Jenson Button. But, rather than looking over his shoulder, the Scot sees no reason why he should not be looking to make further inroads up the field in the race.
“Any points will be welcome,” said Di Resta, who already has 21 to his name this season, just six behind his total from last year.
“I can’t say how many we’ll get because we’re starting in front of a Mercedes and a McLaren, so already it’s going to be a tough job.
“But why should we give up? Why shouldn’t we challenge some of the others in front because we have the pace this weekend to do it?”
There is every chance of Di Resta grabbing the seventh place or higher required to see him equal or surpass the 27 points he accrued from 19 races in his debut campaign last year.
Sebastian Vettel superbly grabbed the 32nd pole position of his Formula One career and second in succession.
Reigning world champion Vettel proved to be the class act in qualifying, crushing his rivals in his Red Bull.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton will again line up on the front row, but the 27-year-old found himself three tenths of a second adrift of Vettel’s hot lap of one minute 13.784secs.
The pole elevates Vettel to fifth in the all-time standings, and he now stands alongside Nigel Mansell, with only Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Jim Clark and Alain Prost ahead of him, the latter duo with 33 poles.
The championship leader, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, will start third as he failed to pip Hamilton at the death, followed by the Red Bull of recent Monaco Grand Prix winner Mark Webber.
1 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull
2 Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren
3 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari
4 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull
5 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes
6 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari
7 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus
8 Paul Di Resta (GB) Force India
9 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes
10 Jenson Button (GB) McLaren